Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It's the highlight of my year!"

This 51 year old construction worker came in for his annual physical. His hands were rough and grease-stained. He was large, muscular and plain of speech and dress. While I did his physical exam, we talked. I asked him how his kids were. His face lit up when he told me this story about his 16 year old daughter:

"You know what the highlight of my year is, doc?" he asked me.

"No, what is it?" I replied, thinking he would tell me about his annual fishing or hunting trip, or a vacation.

" Every year, my daughter's dance class puts up a production of the Nutcracker. The opening scene has some adults dancing the waltz at a party. I always participate so that I can be on stage with my daughter. She usually plays one of the wind-up dolls later in the play."

"You dance?" I asked, as I looked into his ears with the otoscope.

He laughed. "Not very well. But I wouldn't miss it for anything."

"This year, they are going to let the actors, including my daughter play more than one role and I get to do the waltz with my daughter in the opening scene. Imagine! I will be able to dance with my daughter this year!"

His face beamed.

"The high point of my life is spending time with my kids and the Nutcracker dance with my daughter is the highlight of my year."

I love listening to my patients' stories and my heart was warmed and touched by this seemingly rough, macho construction worker's tender spot.

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